The Immune Response Corp. announced that it has begun itsthird Phase I clinical trial of a potential rheumatoid arthritistherapeutic vaccine.

The trial is using a slightly different sequence of a VB17 T cellreceptor peptide than was used in a separate trial, which wascompleted in December. Company officials said they hope tofinish their latest trial by the end of the year and complete aVB14 clinical trial this summer.

"So far the VB17 and VB14 trials indicate the formulations aresafe and well-tolerated," said Steven Brostoff, ImmuneResponse's vice president of research and development. "Wehave seen an effect on the target populations in some cases."

Brostoff said data from the first three trials will be used todesign a Phase II trial, which the company intends to beginnext year.

"We've found nothing that would make us hesitant to goforward with it," Brostoff said.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.